The history of Russian railways started 185 years ago with the opening of the Tsarskoye Selo Public Railway. In 1837, a train consisting of a steam locomotive and eight cars travelled along the route from Saint Petersburg to Tsarskoye Selo. The route length was 23 kilometers; the trip duration was 35 minutes.
A little over 100 years later, in the year of celebrating the 4th All-Union Day of Rail Transport, The Gudok newspaper and the Rail Transport Publishing Company held a large-scale art competition in which engine drivers, switchmen, dispatchers, technicians, engineers, and other railway workers took part.
Oil paintings, watercolors, pen and pencil drawings, posters, woodblock prints, and sculptures – more than 800 works were submitted to the competition. Following the competition, an art album entitled The Fine Art of Railway Workers was published in 1939, which included eighty-three best works. Today, it is a bibliographic rarity carefully kept in major museums of Russia and some private collections.
To the 185th Anniversary of Russian Railways, preserving traditions and honoring the work of all those involved in their development, Alfa-ZHAT prepared a deluxe edition with selected works from The Fine Art of Railway Workers album (1939).